Eventide Conversations: The Futures of 'Live' Performance

Tue 9 Nov 2021

The Futures of ‘Live’ Performance 
A group of performing artists and producers from across Australia and Hong Kong gathered  in November 2021 to consider and reconsider the protocols, approaches and assumptions to the possibilities of the futures of making, engaging and sharing ‘live’ performances. They investigated whether artistic and curatorial practices can shape futures of which we don’t have an image; how we might redefine our values, principles, and methodologies on how we want to live and work together; and whether the demands of the current global condition is giving us an opportunity to collectively rehearse for a world to come. Speakers unpacked their recent approaches and reflected on ways we can and must insist on circumstances of collaboration that are more sustainable and equitable.

This conversation was hosted by Low Kee Hong (Head of Theatre, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority) and features guest speakers Jacob Boehme (theatre maker & choreographer, Director of First Nations Programs, Carriageworks), Jeff Khan (Artistic Director & CEO, Performance Space) and Michelle Rocha (Head of Touring at Manchester International Festival).

This event was part of the Eventide Conversations, presented in partnership with Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association. Curated by independent director and producer Ching Ching Ho and Executive Director of the Hong Kong Ballet Heidi Lee, this program provides opportunities for engagement and knowledge exchange between arts and cultural leaders in Hong Kong and Australia. The project was supported by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.

The workshop was documented in a written report, which can be downloaded at the link below.


Low Kee Hong – Facilitator
Kee Hong is the Head of Theatre, Performing Arts at West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. He is responsible for formulating the district’s artistic direction for Contemporary Performance and Theatre. In this role, he created Hong Kong’s first International Workshop Festival of Theatre, an ongoing series on Scenography, a programme on dramaturgy, international residencies with Scotland, New Zealand and Australia, new commissions with the Manchester International Festival and GREC Festival Barcelona. Since 2018, he is the co-curator of the Hong Kong International Black Box Festival with Hong Kong Rep. From the Summer of 2022 at Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District, Silvia Bottiroli (currently Artistic Director of DAS Theatre and former Artistic Director of Santarcangelo Festival) and Low Kee Hong will co-curate a new platform built around Queering – a practice inspired by theories that re-examines and dismantles accepted frameworks of identity, power and privilege – as a political field and as a methodology to transform artistic institutions into the tools that are needed for a democratic participation in designing the cultural and social dimensions of the arts of the present time. The platform proposes many speculative futures and an understanding of curation as one of the attempts we can make to rehearse and trial the world that we would like to live in. He was Artistic Director of the Singapore Arts Festival (2010–2012) and General Manager for the Singapore Biennale (2005–2010).

Jacob Boehme
Jacob is a Melbourne born and raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. Alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts, (MA in Arts: Playwriting, MA in Arts: Puppetry), Jacob is a multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer, creating work for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals. Jacob has led the artistic direction of Tanderrum (Melbourne Festival), Boon Wurrung Ngargee (Yalukit Willam Festival), Thuwathu (Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair), Geelong After Dark and was the founding Creative Director of Yirramboi Festival, recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Arts. Jacob is the writer and performer of the critically acclaimed solo work Blood on the Dance Floor, recipient of the 2017 Green Room Award Best Independent Production. Jacob sits on the Board of Directors for Dance House and Polyglot Theatre and is a member of the Ministry of Culture Taiwan South East Asia Advisory Panel. Jacob is an Australia Council for the Arts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellow and the new Director, First Nations Programs at Carriageworks.

Jeff Khan
Jeff is Artistic Director & CEO of Performance Space, Sydney. Originally from Western Australia, Jeff is a curator and writer working across performance, dance and the visual arts with a particular interest in experimental projects and interdisciplinary practices. At Performance Space, Jeff oversees the development and delivery of the annual Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, as well as a range of residencies, curatorial projects, laboratories and artist development programs. Performance Space’s programs situate Australian practice in an Asia Pacific context and Jeff has undertaken extensive research across East and South-East Asia in the development of the organisation’s work, growing a wide international network of experimental artists and organisations. From 2006–2010 Jeff was Artistic Director of the Next Wave Festival (Melbourne), and he has held roles and undertaken guest curatorships at Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne), Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Sydney), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne), Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and John Curtin Gallery (Perth), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York). Jeff is a Board Member of Chunky Move (VIC) and also sits on the Multi-Arts Board of Create NSW. He has served on award and assessment panels for organisations and funding bodies including the Taishin Foundation (Taiwan), Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, the National Portrait Gallery and Bundanon Trust. As a writer, he has contributed texts and essays to numerous publications, exhibition catalogues, magazines and artists’ projects.

Michelle Rocha
Michelle is the Head of Touring at the Manchester International Festival (United Kingdom), responsible for bringing original new works co-commissioned by MIF internationally. Before this, she was the Producer, Performing Arts (Music and Outdoor) of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (Hong Kong), responsible for producing both audience and artistic development projects. As the Producer of Freespace Happening, West Kowloon’s regular outdoor event that has reached over 170,000 audiences, she curated performances, invited partners and initiated cross-genre collaborations. Other projects under her belt include Freespace Fest (2012-2014, which has reached around 100,000 audiences over 3 years), Compartmentalized (contemporary x hip hop dance piece that toured to Australia), various New Works Forums for dance and theatre, initiated Hong Kong indie bands’ debut performances at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival and produced Freespace Mixtape Vol.1 and 2, whereby her team match-made musicians from different genres to collaborate on live and recorded performances. Before joining West Kowloon, Michelle was part of the Cultural Olympiad and Torch Relay programming team for the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 at the Wales Millennium Centre. She has also worked as the Company and Programme Officer of the Hong Kong Dance Company, a theatre educator at Theatre Noir, a freelance producer for the international rock concert promoter Lushington/ Live Nation and for the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Fundraising Manager for the Hong Kong International Jazz Festival. Michelle was a fellow of the Hong Kong Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme and is a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme and was seconded to the Islington Mill in Greater Manchester.